In Canada, we’ve got a bit of a food waste problem. We throw away a lot, simply put. In fact, some are even calling it a ‘crisis’ with how much perfectly fine foods get tossed, either in households, restaurants, or grocery stores.
There is thankfully a lot that households can do to limit their food waste. We believe this year, if effort was made and support given, we could reduce every household to close to zero food waste. To make it happen, it takes a little planning. Here’s where we think one should start.
Start a list
Look at what’s in your fridge and pantry. You may want to start an inventory, complete with expiration dates. This way, you know what food you have and won’t purchase any duplicates. Additionally, you will avoid stale, expired foods.
Cook it and freeze it
Let’s say you got a food coming up with an expiry date. No need to worry! Pull out your book of recipes. If you don’t want to throw it out, cook it into something and freeze it. Keep your freezer ready for dishes like these. This can prevent a lot of the food waste we create, in terms of spoiled foods.
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Buy only what you need
When you go grocery shopping, a lot of us have a tendency to buy in bulk. Then, a part of our haul goes rotten after a certain period of time. You can still maximize your dollar by buying somewhat less. Taking only what you need according to your meal plan, diet, or lifestyle, you instantly cut into the foods you know you’re probably not going to eat in time.
Store food properly
The best zero food waste strategy is to learn how to store different ingredients properly. The challenge everybody faces is how to maximize freshness. No one wants mouldy berries or low quality carrots.
Buying local foods has many advantages, although it can occasionally be more expensive – sometimes very much so. When it comes to zero food waste, buying locally often gives fresh, longer-lasting foods. This is a great way to extend the expiry date on things like fruits and vegetables.
Is there a way to repurpose food waste?
If you’re cutting up veggies, as an example, some of it you toss. We consider these parts plain unusable. Is there a way to repurpose this waste – we think yes. Starting a compost for organic material in your yard can handle some. Recipes also exist that could make use of things like broccoli stalks, meat bones, and similar materials. Other by-products in food waste could potentially be reused for a number of purposes. Depending on what you have, it’s well worth looking into.
Canadian households throw out on average $1,500 worth of food every year. Combined with other sources of food waste, that’s approximately $31 billion in food we throw away annually. Making a change is hard but, we think, possible. Start today and you never know where your efforts could end up.
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